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Can a college hold back transcripts when you a have a tuition balance?Is it legal?

Poughkeepsie, NY |
Filed under: Education law

my daughter wants to apply to another college.I have paid the college 70 thousand so far and now have a balance of 17 thousand. My husband lost his job and i am trying to come up with the money but i wont have it paid off until after the new college deadline for transcripts. The college wont release them until i pay it off. Is this legal? thanks nancy b

Attorney Answers 2


I know of no principle of law that is violated when an institution withholds transcripts until an outstanding tuition obligation is paid in full. Seems like a pretty effective device for ensuring that the school gets paid. I have included a link below to an article entitled "Withholding Academic Transcripts and Diplomas" which discusses the subject.

I'm not licensed in New York so don't take what I say here as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds New York licensure.

Good luck.

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The short answer is yes, you have no legal right to specific documents and as a result they may properly hold them till the balance is paid in full, almost ALL institutions do this

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